Birth Injury Lawyer Denver, CO
If your baby was harmed during pregnancy or the birthing process as a result of a medical misstep, please connect with a birth injury lawyer Denver, CO residents trust and please do so today. Please schedule a consultation with the experienced Colorado legal team at Richard J. Banta, P.C. today, even if you’re unsure of exactly what led to your baby’s injuries and whose fault those injuries were. Why? Physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators are human. They make mistakes from time to time, as all humans do. Similarly, as most humans do, these professionals may downplay (knowingly or unknowingly) their role in the harm they cause when they misstep. Therefore, it isn’t always easy to know at first glance whether a baby’s suffering was caused by medical negligence or recklessness. Our firm’s experienced Denver, CO birth injury lawyer can look into your child’s situation to clarify what happened and what your legal options are at this time. It’s important to act quickly, as these cases are time-sensitive and your ability to present a strong case may become compromised if you wait too long to act.
Can I Sue if My Baby Was Harmed During the Birthing Process?
As a new parent, you are almost certainly overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. As a new parent of a baby who experienced trauma in-utero and/or during the birthing process, you’re almost certainly angry, grieving, frustrated, and confused about what comes next. It’s important to understand that our firm handles the legal “heavy lifting” of our clients’ cases so that they can keep their focus on their family during this particularly challenging time of life.
It may be necessary to investigate your child’s case to some extent before we can advise you of the relative strengths and benefits of that case. Generally speaking, successful medical negligence lawsuits must prove three things:
- The healthcare provider owed your baby a “duty of care”
- The healthcare provider breached that duty
- As a direct breach of that duty, your child suffered an injury
No two medical negligence cases are exactly alike. As a result, it’s important to avoid making assumptions (either for better or for worse) about your legal options before you’ve spoken with our firm. Proving the first point noted above usually isn’t difficult. But proving the second two points is a highly technical business. It can’t be emphasized enough that it isn’t your responsibility to prove these points, it’s our responsibility to determine whether they can be proven. Your job is to focus on your family right now. We’ll handle the legal side of things until we can advise you of your options in ways that allow you to make informed opinions about whether you want to pursue legal action or not. In the event that you have grounds to sue and choose to do so, we will represent your interests vigorously, with great focus and determination, compassionately, and with respect.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today. You have nothing to lose by taking this confidential, no-obligation, free meeting with our firm. Our experienced Denver, CO birth injury lawyer looks forward to speaking with you.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
While not all birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, some of them are. Medical negligence occurs when a doctor’s performance falls below the standard of care expected in the medical community. Here are some common causes of birth injuries in the delivery room.
- Improper Use of Vacuums: Doctors may use vacuums when mothers have difficulty pushing an infant out of the birth canal. These devices are latched onto a baby’s shoulder or head and guide the baby through the birth canal. If a doctor doesn’t place the vacuum correctly on the infant, injuries can result.
- Improper Use of Forceps: If the infant is improperly positioned in the womb, a doctor may use forceps to help the baby get out. If the doctor uses the forceps incorrectly, it could restrict the infant’s oxygen, causing cerebral palsy and other conditions.
- Hypoxia: If an infant is not getting enough oxygen during the delivery process, hypoxia can result. Whether hypoxia is due to a tangled umbilical cord or infection, it can lead to severe physical and physical and mental disabilities. As a birth injury lawyer in Denver, CO can confirm, doctors are trained on how to detect hypoxia in advance to reduce the chance of harm in the infant. If a doctor fails to do this, he or she may be held liable.
Different Birth Injuries in Infants
Most doctors are highly skilled and do everything they can to prevent birth injuries. However, if they are fatigued or not paying careful enough attention, they could make a mistake that results in injuries to the infant. Birth injuries can be devastating and life-altering. Here are several birth injuries that can result from a doctor’s negligence:
- Erb’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Brain damage
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Clavicle fracture
Injuries to the Mother During Labor and Delivery
It’s not often thought about, but birth injury cases can cover the mother as well. The mother can suffer harm while the physician is treating her, especially if the physician is negligent or not taking the proper precautions when dealing with a laboring mother.
Childbirth is an amazing experience but also a frightening experience. There’s joy, excitement, and you know to anticipate pain. So you expect pain, but because new mothers are often unaware of injuries to themselves that can happen, they’re not expecting to deal with extra pain on top of having just had a child. A birth injury, dependent upon the type, can cause minor discomfort to long-lasting pain and permanently change the mother’s body.
Vaginal tears are common when the baby’s head encounters issues exiting the birth canal. Should the vagina not stretch to accommodate the baby’s head, it will tear. Tears can also happen if a birth happens too quickly, if the doctor is using forceps, or if the mother (or baby) are considered overweight.
There are four degrees of tears, from mild to severe. Some tears simply involve the perineal skin, or the skin between the rectum and the vagina. Other tears involve muscles, can extend to the anus, including the anal sphincter or rectum. The worse the tear, the more likely it is the mother will require surgery to correct the tear.
Mothers can also experience a rare condition called uterine rupture, which happens before, or during labor and delivery. This is most likely to occur if the baby is abnormally large, and there is a strain on a scar from a previous surgery, rupture or C-section in the uterus. The uterus tears during this condition, the baby and the placenta can wind up in the mother’s abdomen. This can cause many complications, ranging from urologic injuries to hemorrhaging or death.
On the flip side, there is another condition called uterine inversion, which is when the placenta remains attached to the uterus and upon exiting the body the uterus is pulled out with the baby’s placenta. This can cause shock or hemorrhaging and be fatal. There’s several grades of inversion, incomplete, total and in-between. To treat this type of complex complication a physician can try to reinsert the uterus, perform a hysterectomy, or perform abdominal surgery.
Some more commonly experience birth injuries that can be avoided with proper monitoring and guidance during labor and delivery are, nerve injuries in their legs, hips, feet, and more. Nerve injuries often happen because your nerves can be compressed during delivery or if the tissue is stretched. Pelvic organ prolapse is another complication that isn’t talked about, and causes the uterus to slip down into the vagina because pregnancy or delivery have weakened the pelvic floor muscles. This is a range of zero to four in severity, with stage 4 being that the organ is out of the body entirely.
So if you are filing a birth injury lawsuit, think about the mom’s. Were the mom’s injured too? If they were, reach out to a birth injury lawyer.
Damages in Birth Injury Cases
If your child suffered a birth injury from a doctor’s negligence, a birth injury lawyer in Denver, CO may help you recover several types of damages. These damages can provide compensation for losses suffered from the negligence. Common damages in these types of cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life’s enjoyment
If the court determines the doctor’s actions are very appalling, you may also be able to obtain punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the defendant for gross negligence.
How Long Should I Wait Before Contracting a Birth Injury Lawyer in Denver, CO?
Many parents whose child suffered an injury at birth will have a suspicion that something went wrong during the labor and delivery process. Whether this suspicion arises from obvious signs or rather an instinct, there is often one point in which one or both parents will discuss their concerns. Some parents reach this point very quickly after the birth. Others might wait some time before taking the next steps. As a leading Denver, CO birth injury lawyer might advise, as soon as you suspect something went wrong, or you have an instinct about the injury, you should call a lawyer. This is true even when you don’t have any hard evidence. Regardless of what really happened, a lawyer can review and investigate your case to determine the facts.
Identifying the Symptoms of a Birth Injury
As soon as you suspect a birth injury, a lawyer might recommend that you keep a journal of all the symptoms exhibited by your child. These symptoms may vary and could include those that are very noticeable, as well as those that are more subtle and difficult to recognize. Common symptoms that might arise, include:
- Chronic crying
- Lack of crying
- Cognitive impairment
- Writhing movements
Up until the age of three, a child is supposed to reach various milestones. If they are not meeting these, such as crawling, walking, learning to talk, going to the bathroom, and so forth, you should talk with your doctor and call a Denver, Colorado birth injury lawyer. It is certainly possible that you won’t notice certain things until the child is 6 or 7 years of age. For instance you might notice challenges with the child’s:
- Fine motor skills
- Social ability
- + More
When any of these are a factor, and your child suffered a birth injury, please call a lawyer. There are very strict statutes of limitations. What is applicable to your potential case will depend on when the date of the injury happened, as well as when it was discovered. Regardless, you should not wait to get legal advice. Doing so might only harm your case. Once you decide to speak with a lawyer, you might want to think about the following questions and write down the answers that come to mind:
- Was your pregnancy normal?
- Were there any unusual problems during your pregnancy?
- Did you require an emergency c-section?
- Was there ever a time in which you thought something was not right?
- Did the staff ever act strange to you?
- What was the child’s apgar score?
- Did the child suffer a head injury or any other injury at the time of birth?
- Was the child in NICU?
- Was the child deprived of oxygen?
- Were there breathing problems?
- Did the child ever suffer a seizure after birth?
If any of the above are applicable to your situation, you may or may not have a birth injury case. Regardless, you should ask a lawyer to review your case to identify important answers. Call Richard J. Banta, P.C., today.